Ultra-orthodox MK: Liberman incites against us, encourages violence

MK Yisrael Eichler says finance minister’s comments blaming ultra-Orthodox Jews for the high cost of living in Israel result in violence against them.

By World Israel News Staff

An MK from the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party slammed Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman in comments to the Arutz-7 news site on Monday evening, charging that the avowedly secular politician’s remarks blaming haredim for the high cost of living in Israel have a direct link to real-world violence against them.

Earlier this week, Liberman remarked that a “central reason” for high prices of everything from rent to consumer goods to gas in the Jewish state is because some 50 percent of Haredi men do not participate in the workforce.

MK Yisrael Eichler told Arutz-7 that a recent act of police violence, in which a Haredi Jew was beaten for refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store, happened because of anti-Haredi sentiment in Israeli society, egged on by lawmakers.

“Who’s to blame [for the violence]? Those who say, ‘The Haredim hate us,’ and those like Liberman who blame the Haredim for the high cost of living,” Eichler said.

“The deadly blows by the police against Haredi Jews, as occurred today in B’nei Brak and occur in every violent meeting of the police and Haredim, are a direct result of the incitement by Liberman and his friends. May the Guardian of Israel protect the remnants of Israel from the enemies from without and from the enemies at home.”

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Liberman, who heads the staunchly secular, right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, has long clashed with Haredi lawmakers. His policies, including ending daycare subsidies for the children of yeshiva students, have sparked ire in Haredi communities.

He has also made a number of inflammatory comments aimed at Haredim, which earned him criticism from lawmakers on both the left and right ends of the political spectrum.

During the run-up to the March 2021 national elections, Liberman remarked that he would “ send the Haredim, together with [then-Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, in one wheelbarrow to a garbage dump.”